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Borat explored to be a relative to some of Uzbek politicians

Written by on Monday, 4 May 2009
Politics and Society, Uzbekistan
5 Comments

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Translation of post (RUS) by Alisher Taksanov.

Yesterday, May 3, RTL German TV-channel aired Borat movie. And we, people in Switzerland, could also “enjoy” it because the channel airs for our country too. As soon as my daughter saw the movie she exclaimed: “Ohhh, now everybody in my school will laugh at me!”

My wife asked her why she thinks so about just a comedy and how it is connected to her.

My wife didn’t like the movie neither: there were too much immoral scenes, for instance, when Borat washes his face in lavatory pan, takes a pee on the street, runs across the New-York streets with a hen in his hands; when he kisses his sister who is number 4 prostitute in Kazakhstan; when asks serious ladies how to use a toilet paper; when his partner-producer [Azamat] shows his sexual habits, etc. Although, it is not about Uzbekistan, it touches whole Turkic nationality and the whole region of Central Asia.

And then my daughter responded: “Mom, my classmates don’t know about Uzbekistan and they will decide that Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Tajikistan are the same and that we have common traditions! And they will laugh at me because they will also think that I don’t know what lavatory pan is! How should I explain them that it was just a parody and making fun of one particular country??”

And this is a real problem. Only a few Swiss know about Central Asia and this movie creates a picture about the region for ordinary people of Switzerland. And now everybody associates Borat with any country which ends with “-stan”.

On the other hand, we can’t just prohibit the movie because it will bring us late back to the times when the government prohibited watching and reading whatever we wanted; when we were not allowed to come up with our own conclusions, points of view; when we were under somebody’s influence… In the meantime my countrymen wrote me that he liked the movie and he thought it was a good parody of old conservative traditions. I decided not to argue against because it was true.

As I know, today Borat is not allowed for airing in Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan. But I would argue about its airing in Central Asia to let people know how others make them out a fool; to let them see everyday greed, arrogance; efforts to give fantasy out to be real. I’d argue about that to urge Central Asians on making the World know them from better sight.

Maybe Borat is a character who personifies not one particular state but that group of fools representing any of Central Asian states abroad. While I was watching a movie images of different people [of Uzbek political elite] had been appearing in my mind, such as Abdulaziz Kamilov – former Minister of foreign affairs of Uzbekistan and current ambassador to the U.S.; Ostanakul Mirzayev – representative of Uzbekistan in the CIS; Shokasim Shoislamov – Uzbek ambassador to Tajikistan. Maybe Borat is just a right personage for these people representing the state and doing nothing for strengthening cooperation with other ones? In terms of this the movie is essential. So, let’s just don’t be strict to Sacha Cohen – he just did his job [as an actor].

After watching the movie my daughter decided she would always introduce herself as from Russia: it’d be easier to explain her accent in German. And not to let anybody think Borat was one of her relatives.

Actually, Borat is a relative to many people in Ok-Saroy (the Uzbek White House) and in Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Uzbekistan. Especially of those who cover somebody’s name in mud while “discussing” articles on some web-sites…

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5 Comments »

  • a1 says:

    actually, there are numerous references to Uzbekistan in this movie too….

    Reply

  • lol says:

    i agree the movie is quite pathetic. but c’mon stop complaining, blaming and stupidly comparing borat with some diplomats of ok saroy staff :P find other ways of handling your anger.

    Reply

  • shohmurod says:

    Borat is not making fun of -stans. He is making fun of ignorance, lack of knowledge, prejudice and xenophobia of Americans toward other parts of the world. He speaks Polish, e.g. yakshimash, jinkuya, and starts the movie in a village in Romania. No movie reviewer ever mentions this. He shows how an ignorant cowboy hates Muslims. He shows how a chauvinist male college student hates women. He shows how a first-class hotel kicks out a man with hip-hop clothing. He bares open the American closet on screen. The movie makes every Western viewer cringe with discomfort and that is what it is supposed to do. No Kazakh or Uzbek should feel uncomfortable about viewing it, because it is not about them at all.

    Reply

  • Britney Kate says:

    Fantastic information,This is the first time i heard about this. keep it up this good works.

    Thanks,
    Micheal

    Reply

  • Dilshod says:

    Alisher, it’s time to move on, stop holding on your past. It’s time to look forward – to the future. Don’t waste your talent.

    Reply

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